EA still hasn't revealed Need for Speed 2022, but we know a new NFS game is coming this year. Here are the latest Need for Speed 2022 rumours.
During a recent earnings call, EA confirmed the sequel to NFS Heat will launch later this year. Criterion Games, the Guilford-based studio behind 2010’s NFS Hot Pursuit and Burnout Paradise, is also back in the driving seat with the help of Codemasters Cheshire.
But other than that, Need for Speed 2022 is shrouded in mystery. This is surprising considering it could be coming in around three months, but EA hasn’t revealed any official details apart from the release window.
Need for Speed 2022 rumours
However, there are plenty of Need for Speed 2022 rumours going around that could give us an idea of what to expect.
Numerous leaks have revealed new details on everything from the location to cop chases to the unusual art style. Here are all the latest Need for Speed 2022 rumours we've found so far.
Latest news - Need for Speed 2022 logo allegedly leaks online
While we're still waiting for official updates from EA and Criterion Games, the Need for Speed 2022 logo has allegedly leaked online.
Shared by the moderator of the Need for Speed Subreddit, the logo seemingly confirms the next NFS will be called Need for Speed Unbounded. It's not clear if the logo is real, so this is one of several Need for Speed 2022 rumours for now until EA reveals the final logo.
PlayStation Plus September games could hint at Need for Speed 2022 reveal next week
Need for Speed Heat will be a free PlayStation Plus September game according to a reliable leaker. This could coincide with the reveal of Need for Speed 2022 next week - we're keeping our fingers crossed!
Need for Speed 2022 aiming for a new generation of fans, classic modes removed
According to a Reddit user who claims to know an EA employee, NFS 2022 will be a "soft reboot" aimed at a younger audience, introducing the franchise to a new generation.
As part of this new direction, classic features will apparently be removed: popular game modes like drag racing and drift events won’t be in NFS 2022 according to the Reddit user. Last seen in NFS Payback, Speedcross, is expected to return, however.
Car upgrades are also reportedly going to be simplified and similar to Forza with a numbered system.
Release date delayed until December
NFS 2022 was rumoured to be targetting a November release. However, the release date has reportedly been delayed until December according to VentureBeat's Jeff Grubb.
Speaking with Giant Bomb, Grubb says Criterion is “going to take a few extra weeks before showing it off.” Hopefully, this means NFS 2022 will be revealed in September after it failed to make an appearance at Gamescom.
As for why NFS 2022 is delayed, Grubb believes Criterion “got sidetracked” when working on Battlefield 2042 with DICE, resulting in a “ripple effect.”
Leaked gameplay video shows cartoon effects
One of the most interesting Need for Speed 2022 rumours concerns the game’s visuals.
According to Grubb, NFS 2022 will blend realistic visuals with anime elements, resulting in a unique art style. Henderson has also supported this, adding that smoke, wind, and fire effects will come off the car during fast driving and drifting.
Adding to this rumour, a Reddit user who claims to know an EA employee claims that "bang" text will appear on screen when smashing into objects like lamp posts.
The user also claims there also won't be much tyre smoke. Instead, lines will move in a circular motion as the rear tyres spin according to the leaker.
Since these claims, leaked gameplay footage has supposedly emerged showing what these cartoon effects look like. In the video, we see a Chevrolet Bel Air attempting a jump.
As the car crashes into a wall, the screen turns red and a skull appears over the car indicating low health. Animated wings then appear on the sides of the car after the failed jump.
These comic book-style effects have been polarising to say the least, but it’s not clear if they can be turned off. This footage is likely taken from an early build of the game, meaning it's not representative of the final game.
Like in NFS Heat, NFS 2022 is expected to have a story mode with characters and cut scenes.
According to the leak on Reddit, NFS 2022's story will feature a diverse cast of characters with “strong female/cultural representation.” Allegedly, the intro cutscene features a BMW doing without doors.
Police chases were prominent in Need for Speed Heat and are set to return in NFS 2022.
According to a Reddit user who claims to know an EA employee, abandoned cars can be stolen. If you steal one of these cars, cops will appear out of nowhere and start a high level chase in Corvettes and SWAT vans according to the leaker.
Another user has also shared what appears to be a leaked internal screenshot from the game. Shared on Twitter, the leaked screenshot shows the map in the HUD and a Lamborghini Countach.
These rumours are unverified, so take them with a pinch of salt for now. If they are true, Need for Speed 2022's cartoony visuals are going to be polarising.
NFS 2022 to be called Need for Speed Unbound
What will the new Need for Speed game be called? Except for the 2015 reboot simply titled Need for Speed, most NFS games have a subtitle like Rivals, Underground, and Heat.
Rumours suggest the new game is called Need for Speed Unbound (not to be confused with 2012's Ridge Racer Unbounded) according to reliable EA leaker Tom Henderson, but this rumoured title is not official yet.
Another one of the key Need for Speed 2022 rumours is the location of the map we will be racing in.
A leaked map suggests it will be a vast open world, with a variety of environments to explore from bustling city streets to rural roads and highways.
According to VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb, Criterion wants to make Lake Shore City “feel like a real city, even though it’s a fictionalised version of a city.” Henderson supported this, adding that the location will have “unique" tracks with a large train running through the map.
Criterion pioneered Autolog for Hot Pursuit, a social network inspired by Facebook allowing players to compare high scores and share photos with friends. Online multiplayer will also seemingly be a big focus in NFS 2022.
Criterion’s Autolog system is expected to return in NFS 2022 along with a new Meetups feature where players meet up around the map and start races.
According to a leak on Reddit, car meets will take place in car parks. Players will reportedly be able to swap cars in menus and place bets on other players to win money.
NFS 2022 will mark the series’ debut on current-gen platforms - and these could be the only formats you can play it on.
One of the other key Need for Speed 2022 rumours is that the game will be current-gen only. This means it will only be released on PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles as well as PC but will skip the last-gen PS4 and Xbox One.
While this could reduce sales as the PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles are still in short supply due to the chip shortage, a current-gen-only release will allow Criterion to maximise the game's potential as resources won't be wasted on older formats.
When will Need for Speed 2022 be revealed?
According to Henderson, EA was planning to reveal NFS 2022 in late July along with Skate 4 and FIFA 23. It’s now August and NFS 2022 still hasn’t been revealed.
Fans were hoping NFS 2022 would be revealed at Gamescom but it wasn't shown. With NFS 2022 reportedly delayed from November to December, a September reveal seems likely.
Need for Speed Heat will be free on PlayStation Plus Essential on 6 September. This is likely no coincidence - it would make sense for this to coincide with the reveal of NFS 2022. This means NFS 2022 could finally be revealed next week, possibly on 6 September.
The new NFS has been a long time coming. Development was paused last year when Criterion was brought in to help DICE finish developing Battlefield 2042, delaying the release of NFS 2022.
With Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown delayed until 2023 and Forza Motorsport launching next spring, this November is the perfect time for the new NFS to arrive.
Keep an eye on the official Need for Speed social channels as we could see an official teaser ahead of the long-awaited reveal.